Ecuador Costa Esmeraldas 2017/18 Direct Trade

Origin: Ecuador
Region: Single estate Muisne in the Esmeraldas province
Type: Ecuadorian Nacional hybrids: EET-95, EET-96, EET-103
Certifications: Direct Trade, Uncertified Organic
Year: 2017/18

The preparation is perfect on this lot. Very even and no debris to speak of with a beautiful red/auburn color. 

The overarching impression for this bean is nuance and elegance.  The aroma starts off with warm ripe cherries. The solid chocolate backbone has baked red fruit, delicate tannins and brown and caramelized sugars. 

There is a slight nutty, clean earthy note that I can't quite put a name too.  The inherent sweetness and bitterness lend a note of a rich mocha.  Just the right amount of berry like acidity balance for unmistakable satisfaction.

The cocoa orchards were established 6 years ago on former cattle pasture with very steep terrain. Establishment of cocoa, timber, and other fruit trees has reduced erosion on the farm site. Esmeraldas has an unusual climate, with little variation in average temperatures. The region has relatively short wet season from January to May each year, but during the dry season, the weather is almost always overcast with light drizzling rain.

Costa Esmeraldas is a family owned and operated 100-hectare cacao farm. All members of the Salazar family (Fredy, Monica, and siblings Freddy and Indira) actively participate in the business. Freddy is directly responsible for managing operations at the farm and post-harvest center.

Management of the cacao orchards create over 40 full-time jobs within the local community in rural Esmeraldas.

Fermentation is set up a five-tiered cascade system. The wood boxes are Cedro (Cedrela odorata) with a 450 kg capacity. The fermenting mass is turned once at 36 hours, and then every morning until fermentation is complete. Total duration of fermentation is 5 ½ days.

This mixture of varieties combined with frequent collaboration with Daniel O’Doherty of Cacao Services, produces a unique profile

Dan's influence in the fermentation is quite clear with a very even, beautiful and full fermentation.  You can taste another bean collaboration with Peru Ucayali



The roast profile for my evaluation was 10.25/2.50/4.75 @ 260 F.  The EOR was just a little lower than some taking into account its moderate fruit and chocolate. 

If you are using a Behmor, P1 for 18-19 minutes with 2 lbs will be just fine.  Go by the aroma.  When it turns sharper near the end of the count down, you are done.  If it isn't there yet, add a bit more time waiting for the turn of aroma.